Is your life productive?
Do you use the talents you’ve been given to help others and to provide for yourself and your family?
Each of us has received one or more talents (gifts or skills). You are either using and further developing your talents, or you’re burying them.
It is up to each of us to uncover our talents and put them to good use.
I’m sure you’ve heard of The Parable of the Talents, but I’d like to point out some new angles you may not have heard before. As you read this parable, think about the talents you’ve been underusing.
The Parable of the Talents
A talent was a monetary unit worth about twenty years’ wages for a laborer. This parable is the origin of the word “talent” meaning “gift or skill” as used in English and several other languages.
Matthew 25:14-30 (ESV)
14 …it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them.
15 To one he gave five talents, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.
16 The man who had received five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.
17 So also, the one with two talents gained two more.
18 But the man who had received one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.
20 The man who had received five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’
21 His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
22 The man with two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’
23 His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
24 Then the man who had received one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.
25 So I was afraid and went out and hid the talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?
27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28 ‘So take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten.
29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.
30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
This parable teaches us that our success is a product of our work and that we will be held accountable for what we do with our talents. Success does not come through luck or chance. There may be risks, but success must be worked for.
If you’ll notice, the unfaithful servant was afraid to risk anything, so he went and hid his talents. I’ve always read this to mean that he hid it so that others couldn’t take his talents (since the talent was a sum of money), but, I’m now realizing that wasn’t his primary goal.
His motivation wasn’t to hide his talents from others.
No, instead he was hiding it FROM HIMSELF.
Sounds crazy doesn’t it? Stay with me for a minute while I explain.
The lazy servant thought that by burying his talent in the ground he could put it out of his sight. He thought he would be able to forget about it and go on with his life, ignoring the task that he’d been charged with.
Surely, he had to know that there would be a day of reckoning for his choice.
Like many of us, he lived with dread every day. But somehow, he was able to rationalize that he had made the best choice by burying the talent. His choice was that it would be better not to take a risk and just stay mediocre.
The story sounds sad doesn’t it?
Is his choice any different than the choices we make every day which allow us to avoid pursuing our passions?
When you’re not doing something you know you should be doing, a little bit of your soul dies. In that sense, dread is a feeling of death. If you feel dread about anything in your life, that should be a warning to you.
Are you living with dread today? What talents have you hidden or buried?
Are you living an average, bland, mediocre life — nothing too risky, but nothing too exciting either?
When people ask how you are, do you reply, “just fine”. Are you OK with being “just fine”? Really?
You do realize — if you’re living with dread you’re not fine; YOU’RE DYING INSIDE.
In our own blindness we fail to realize that using our talents is our one chance to live a life of purpose and passion. BUT, if you have the courage to take a risk and move forward, you can become more than you are today.
Are you satisfied where you are today?
You might answer, “Not all of us can do what we want, when we want.”
Why not? Because someone told you so?
Learn not to be so concerned with what others say because most people live average lives. Don’t take advice from average people.
What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?
What message was Jesus portraying to his audience?
He was telling them to STEP OUT OF THEIR COMFORT ZONE!
He was telling them to make plans and not be afraid to TAKE RISK!
He was telling them to LIVE DANGEROUSLY, at least compared to the average Joe or Mary.
Are you doing what you believe in right now, or are you just settling for what you are doing?
We were made to be courageous and take chances with our lives by following our passions. Don’t let fear rule your life.
When you try to “play it safe” you are actually holding yourself back. Instead, surrender yourself to your purpose and your life will be richly rewarded.
The purpose of all life is growth, increase, and achieving a return.
All living things grow. If we are not growing (spiritually, mentally, physically) we have ceased to live.
If we cease to grow, according to the parable, the only thing we have to look forward to is weeping and gnashing. The Parable of The Barren Fruit Tree takes this even further when it says that fruitless trees are cut down and thrown into the fire.
If you fail in achieving your purpose, your life is considered a failure.
I would go so far to say that it’s a sin not to pursue your passion.
What do you have to lose by going for your passion?
Are you living your life, or is your soul dying a little bit each day because of the talents you’ve ignored or buried?
When do you think you should stop calculating risks/rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?
I have the answer, but most of you don’t want to hear it.
THE TIME TO MAKE A CHANGE IS NOW…
If you say you’re waiting until tomorrow you’re just putting another shovel of dirt on top of your buried your talent.